The Top 10 Castle Hotels…

Several days ago my friend Minsheng started her long-planned six-month European vacation by landing at Charles De Gualle Airport, Paris. It is quite an unapproachable dream to us in this country, even just asking for a 24-hour leave. Fortunately, I still could share her trip by receiving sms from her sometimes when she’s in Notre Dame or those resorts there. In return, I’d like to post an article which I found from a trip-guide website. Perhaps this may provide some good ideas for destinations when she and her friends get no idea about to where they shall visit.
 
Every girl has a castle in her mind. Nothing shall be better than starting with castles.  Here are…
The Top 10 Castle Hotels
With accommodations befitting a king, and fairytale-worthy dungeons, moats, drawbridges and towers, you’ll be feeling like royalty in no time in these ten castle hotels.
By ShermansTravel editorial staff

 
Royal Treatment: Top Castle Hotels // Amberley Castle, England (© Amberley Castle)
 
Gone are the days when you needed a royal title to spend the night in a castle. Nowadays, even the masses can stay in a storied, turreted keep, as residences of bygone kings and rulers are converted into premier hotels in Europe and beyond. We’ve rounded up our top castle hotels in France, the United Kingdom, Africa, India and even the United States (the only one on our list to lack official regal lineage), to help you get the royal treatment, at home and abroad. With accommodations befitting a king, and fairytale-worthy dungeons, moats, drawbridges and towers, you’ll be feeling like royalty in no time. The only thing missing will be your own crown and scepter—those, you’ll have to bring from home.
 
1. Amberley Castle, England

England’s 900-year-old Amberley Castle has a legendary history, including ownership by Queen Elizabeth I from 1588 to 1603; visits from Charles II; and a bout in the civil war, when Cromwell attacked its walls. Accessed via drawbridge and a magnificent oak portcullis (which is still lowered at night), the castle’s 60-foot stone curtain walls are topped by turrets and enclose beautiful rose-filled gardens with resident peacocks. A splendid medieval atmosphere still reigns supreme, with centuries-old suits of armor, intricate tapestries, crossbows and arched stone doorways. The 19 rooms are luxurious and enchanting, boasting elegant four-poster beds, rich wall hangings and carpets, antique frills, and a few modern additions like en-suite jacuzzis, TVs and VCRs.
 
2. Balfour Castle, Scotland

Nestled on the misty Orkney island of Shapinsay in Scotland, Balfour Castle is the world’s most northerly castle, lying at the very edge of Europe, and only reached via 25-minute ferry ride from Kirkwall. Set amid 10 miles of quiet hills and forested grounds, this 1848 baronial fortress is positively Victorian, complete with turrets, a magnificent old library, oil paintings, and even stuffed owls. The six rooms are equally grand, with ornate wood-carved four-poster and canopy beds, oriental rugs and fabulous coastal views (four of the six have en-suite baths). The isolated manor also offers lush grounds, including an original walled garden, as well as two boats for guest to sail off to see the island’s spooky sea caves and dramatic cliffs.
 
3. Castle on the Hudson, New York
Manhattanites sick of cramped quarters, smog and subways can head just 25 miles north, across the Hudson, and don their very own crowns at this US-based castle. It may lack the royal credentials, but the Castle on the Hudson certainly looks the part of a kingly residence, what with towering stone walls, turrets, manicured gardens, and all the palatial trimmings. Built between 1897 to 1910, the hilltop bastion does have one bona fide royal touch: the paneling in the Oak Room comes from the Parisian house given by Louis XIV to James II for use during his years in exile. The five sumptuous rooms and suites are certainly fit for kings, with wood-burning fireplaces, turret alcoves, four-poster beds and opulent furnishings. Best of all, the on-site Equus restaurant offers decadent dining to a backdrop of the New York City skyline and Hudson River.
 
4. Château de Castel Novel, France
Tucked away in a serene pocket of the French countryside, the elegant Château de Castel-Novel offers its guests not only refined accommodations, but an escape into off-the-beaten path France, where an exquisite combination of history, gastronomy and nature converge. Located in the Limousin region of the country, this 14th-century property was originally designed as a fortified hilltop castle—still evident in its round towers and keep—but remodeling in the 19th centuries brought a soft Renaissance flair to the property; witness the sweeping balconies, terraces and rose gardens. Its residents added their own dose of character, as well. Local legend tells of a star-crossed romance between a troubadour and the lady of the house, while, more recently, the famed French writer Colette found inspiration in its rooms and even penned several novels here (guests can opt to stay in the Louis XVI apartment that served as her chambers). Today, it is a Relais and Château property, with 27 personalized rooms and lavish suites open for public lodging.
 
5. Chateau de la Bourdaisière, France
If the fairytale castle that played host to Fox’s hit 2003 reality show, Joe Millionaire, sets your heart aflutter, you can court and dine your significant other here for as little as €120 a night. Constructed in the 15th century for the royal mistress of King François I, the castle today is a popular honeymoon destination (for officially married couples), but single ladies shouldn’t despair, as the Bourdaisière is owned and operated by two brothers, who just happen to be the real-life princes of Broglie. Located less than an hour from Paris, and surrounded by 140 acres of enchanted woodlands, Château de la Bourdaisière lets guests live like royalty, with 11 luxurious rooms (and three apartments), outdoor heated swimming pool, tennis courts and more. Plus, the surrounding Loire Valley offers plenty of treasures of its own, from first-class vineyards to hot-air ballooning.
 
6. Kasbah du Toubkal, Morocco
While other castle hotels on this list are accessible by chauffeured car or ferry, guests at Morocco’s Kasbah du Toubkal usually arrive on the back of a donkey—or on foot. Nestled on a promontory at the base of the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains, about an hour away from Marrakesh (and another hour or so, uphill), this rustic eight-room hotel served as the summer residence (one complete with dungeon) of the local French caid (ruler) from the 1940s until Moroccan independence from France, in 1956. Today, it’s an award-winning eco-tourism hotel (that also served as the setting of the Tibetan Monastery of Dungkar in Scorsese’s 1997 film, Kundun); it’s popular with hikers and those who just want to bask in sweeping views of the Atlas Mountains, abundant fresh air and good food.
 
7. Lake Palace, India
If you want to feel like a maharajah, there’s no better place than the romantic white-marble Lake Palace, afloat on India’s Lake Pichola, in Rajasthan. This majestic palace looks so ethereal, you’ll be pinching yourself to see if you’re dreaming. Built as a summer retreat in the mid-1700s for Maharajah Jagat Singh II, the Lake Palace was intended solely for leisure pursuits—rest assured, the same principles apply to the place now that it’s become a grand, 83-room hotel with 17 suites done up in luxurious silks, intricate murals and rich wood furniture. Distinguished guests to its marbled halls have included Queen Elizabeth II, Jackie O., the Shah of Iran and the King of Nepal.
 
8. Palácio Belmonte, Portugal
 
Built atop fortified Roman and Moorish walls, the Palácio Belmonte is the oldest building in Lisbon and the oldest palace on our list. Built on foundations dating back to 130 BC, and occupying a hilltop with views of the cobblestone city and the river, the Palacio’s incarnation as a hotel is a fairly recent one, thanks to a major multi-million, six-year renovation that restored its regal status. Its last private owners, the Earls of Belmonte (and their descendents), resided here for 500 years; you can spend a night in one of eight palatial suites decorated in colorful silks, with sitting areas and to-die-for terraces with superb views. But that’s not all. There’s an extravagant black-marble swimming pool on site, a 4000-book library, Roman fountains, African and Japanese artifacts, 7th-century brick ceilings, black-veined marble bathrooms and close to 30,000 18th-century Portuguese tiles that have been combined with imported antiques to create a luxurious and refined air.
 
9. Palazzo Gritti, Italy
Commissioned in 1525 as the residence of the Doge of Venice, the swank Gritti Palace has hosted a long list of VIPs since, providing luxurious lodging for numerous heads of state, international royalty, literary bigwigs and film and rock stars, including the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Greta Garbo and Winston Churchill. While some claim the place has seen better days (it is, after all, nearly 500 years old), others argue there is no more celebrated and history-rich hotel in Venice. Whichever side you take, there’s no disputing the Gritti’s prime location: Overlooking the Grand Canal, this palazzo provides unrivaled views of animated, aquatic Venice—vistas best enjoyed from the restaurant terrace. The classy interior is also loaded with antique-filled lounges and over 82 guest rooms and suites adorned with ornate Venetian-style furnishings.
 
10. Waterford Castle, Ireland
Offering an extraordinary escape from the mundane, the secluded and majestic Waterford Castle Hotel is situated on a sprawling 310-acre island, encircled by the flowing waters of the River Suir, in southern Ireland. Reachable only by the castle’s private ferry, there is little distraction at this remote property, other than an 18-hole championship golf course, horseback rides in the surrounding woodlands, or water sports and fishing. The 16th-century stone castle still maintains its original Norman keep and an eye-catching assembly of turrets, towers and gargoyles; the interior houses 19 luxury bedrooms and opulent main rooms decorated with colorful tapestries, antiques and period decor. Owned by the illustrious Fitzgerald family from the 15th through mid-20th centuries, the castle was converted to a luxury hotel in 1988.
 
This article was compiled by the editorial staff at ShermansTravel, including editorial director Arabella Bowen.

About thomaszhu

"In the designs of Providence. There are no mere coincidences."
This entry was posted in 饮食, 旅游 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 条 The Top 10 Castle Hotels… 的回复

  1. chris说道:

    a ,i don’t know how to say ,what can i say ,so …nothing

  2. 雅坤说道:

    감사합니다~~ㅋㅋ

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